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Article

Design and Preliminary Evaluation of a Tongue-Operated Exoskeleton System for Upper Limb Rehabilitation

1
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30308, USA
2
School of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
3
School of Health Professions, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
4
Bionic Sciences Inc., Atlanta, GA 30316, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Umile Giuseppe Longo and Vicenzo Denaro
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8708; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18168708
Received: 8 July 2021 / Revised: 10 August 2021 / Accepted: 12 August 2021 / Published: 18 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Frontiers in Rehabilitation)
Stroke is a devastating condition that may cause upper limb paralysis. Robotic rehabilitation with self-initiated and assisted movements is a promising technology that could help restore upper limb function. Previous studies have established that the tongue motion can be used to communicate human intent and control a rehabilitation robot/assistive device. The goal of this study was to evaluate a tongue-operated exoskeleton system (TDS-KA), which we have developed for upper limb rehabilitation. We adopted a tongue-operated assistive technology, called the tongue drive system (TDS), and interfaced it with the exoskeleton KINARM. We also developed arm reaching and tracking tasks, controlled by different tongue operation modes, for training and evaluation of arm motor function. Arm reaching and tracking tasks were tested in 10 healthy participants (seven males and three females, 23–60 years) and two female stroke survivors with upper extremity impairment (32 and 58 years). All healthy and two stroke participants successfully performed the tasks. One stroke subject demonstrated a clinically significant improvement in Fugl-Meyer upper extremity score after practicing the tasks in six 3-h sessions. We conclude that the TDS-KA system can accurately translate tongue commands to exoskeleton arm movements, quantify the function of the arm, and perform rehabilitation training. View Full-Text
Keywords: tongue drive system; KINARM; stroke; robotic rehabilitation; exoskeleton; hemiplegia tongue drive system; KINARM; stroke; robotic rehabilitation; exoskeleton; hemiplegia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Z.; Prilutsky, B.I.; Butler, A.J.; Shinohara, M.; Ghovanloo, M. Design and Preliminary Evaluation of a Tongue-Operated Exoskeleton System for Upper Limb Rehabilitation. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 8708. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18168708

AMA Style

Zhang Z, Prilutsky BI, Butler AJ, Shinohara M, Ghovanloo M. Design and Preliminary Evaluation of a Tongue-Operated Exoskeleton System for Upper Limb Rehabilitation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(16):8708. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18168708

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Zhenxuan, Boris I. Prilutsky, Andrew J. Butler, Minoru Shinohara, and Maysam Ghovanloo. 2021. "Design and Preliminary Evaluation of a Tongue-Operated Exoskeleton System for Upper Limb Rehabilitation" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 16: 8708. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18168708

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